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Real food does taste better

Food evangelists sometimes use the phrase, "Real food tastes better!" as a rallying cry.

While that's generally true, in some cases, the flavor difference is more noticeable than it is in others.

Today was a perfect example. I have a stovetop popcorn popper, and I used it today for the first time.

Holy cow, what a difference over the microwave stuff.

The flavor is much richer -- you need less salt, less butter (Actually, I really could have eaten it without either. Seriously.). I felt satiated far sooner, so I ate less.

I think I'd forgotten what real popcorn tasted like.

Another product where real tastes way better than the packaged stuff? Cocoa. Stovetop Ghirardelli cocoa beats the tar out of the powdered stuff. And that's even with skim milk.

I don't want to sound like a Whole Foods disciple, and I'm not going to get on a tear about how we Americans are lazy and take shortcuts at the cost of satisfaction and food quality -- it's too cozy and awesome a day for that -- but for some things, it really is worth it to take a little more time. The results can be dramatically superior. The increase in pleasure matters.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
proftlb
Mar. 2nd, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
What a timely post! mumpish and I just finished eating my latest Sunday dinner experiment.... My last several 'experiments' were quick & easy to make and very meh...edible once, but I'll never make them again. This one took a longer to prepare and required a lot more ingredient prep, but, not only did it taste pretty good, mumpish and I were actually discussing possible improvements and what worked well.

You know that neither mumpish or I really pay that much attention to food preparation (though we enjoy the end result:), so it's pretty rare that we're interested enough in a new meal to discuss it at this level. Your post made me really think of the difference in preparation time and the impact that it had on the dinner quality. It still wasn't insanely complicated - honestly, anyone who cooks regularly would probably think it was incredibly simple - but for me it was a huge step in in complexity and quality. Your post just made the light-bulb go off in my head that the two are more related than I typically give them credit for:)

P.S. You may be interested to know that my xmas Total Wine gift certificate was actually part of this meal and I'm continuing to enjoy it with dessert. I got a really nice 2006 Armida Chardonnay. Just another confirmation that (for me) the Russian River Valley is the best place for Chardonnays!
pointedview
Mar. 2nd, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
You must tell me what you made! What was the most recent Sunday dinner experiment?

I am indeed delighted to hear that you used your Total Wine gift certificate -- to the best of my knowledge, I haven't had that particular Chardonnay. What was it like?

I'm hoping to get around to posting my review of Craft in the next few days. We had a Qupé Syrah there that I really didn't like. I suppose it probably went well with my father's short ribs, but David was kind of "meh" on it, and it didn't go with my dinner choices at all. I just didn't think it had much character.
proftlb
Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Here's a link to the base recipe, though I certainly tweaked a little:)

As for the wine - like a lot of Russian river Valley chardonnay's, it was a bit buttery. (The best example of this being the Chardonnay we had at Eugene's a couple of years ago.) It had a nice apple taste to it as well - unusual, but I liked it a lot.
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